John Connor, Brooklyn native and Dodgers fan since childhood, is bitten by a beast and left for dead in the forests of Eastern Europe during the last months of World War II. Instead of surrendering to the “bloodlust” that the bite of the beast engenders in its victims, he is saved by a Muslim physician, Dr. Tirgu, who builds him a revolutionary new blood transfusion machine. Back in Brooklyn he takes a job as a night reporter for a local paper, spending his days alone in his apartment and his early evenings at a bar across the street from Ebbets Field. Every two months he must visit Dr. Tirgu’s brother for another transfusion. The beast, determined to bring Connor “back into the fold,” kills and mutilates several women in and around Ebbets Field, hoping to force Connor to join him. Meanwhile, Connor, who had faced the likelihood that he would always be alone, meets a woman, Mary, whose life is as hopeless as his, and they are immediately attracted to each other.
When the beast tries to take Mary from him, Connor enlists the help of a wealthy German businessman, who also suffers “the disease of the blood,” to keep Mary safe. Along the way he also encounters three ex-priests who either want to save his life, destroy his life or save his soul. What happens to Mary becomes the key to Connor’s future, to the future of the beast and his disciples, and ultimately to the future salvation of mankind.
What happens when science, religion and the supernatural collide? Is mankind worth saving? What defines life – the absence of death? Connor must face these and other existential questions as he struggles to survive but still do the right thing.
Most of the action takes place in Brooklyn in the late 1940s-early 1950s, then in Germany and finally in the present-day Pacific Northwest.
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Mark Mitchell studied piano performance in college before leaving school to join a R&B band, then served 4 years in the Navy as a linguist and cryptanalyst during the last years of the Vietnam War. He obtained a Masters degree in Political History, “ghost-wrote” the memoirs of a pioneering newspaperman and broadcaster, then spent 30+ years in business organizing conferences on next-generation technologies for the aerospace industry. He served as General Manager for US, European, and Australian operations for the company he worked with, and his travels frequently took him to London, Paris, Rome, Hamburg, Tel Aviv, Mexico City, Sydney, and Caracas. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, Mindy, an outstanding cook and medical business executive. A sports fanatic, he is an avid devotee of baseball history, especially the 1950s.